Saturday, April 26, 2008

Trevi Fountain

In a city full of fountains, certain ones stand out for their lavishness and beauty. Of course, Trevi has a promise attached: throw in a coin (over your left shoulder) and you will return some day. Naturally, Trevi was crowded beyond belief. It was hard to get up close enough to throw in our coins--of course we did. OK, we were there on a Sunday afternoon, but I was astounded at how many folks congregated just to congregate, nearly unaware of the art in front of them.

Trevi is beautiful. Keep in mind that you can scarcely walk down a street without some remarkable sculpture decorating the corner, the intersection, a doorway, or another fountain--and you realize that to grab attention, the carving must be extraordinary. Quite simply, it is. Much of the base looks like raw jagged rocks springing up from the deep, water falls and cascades on multiple levels. Your attention is grabbed from all directions: Neptune top and center, humans, merpeople. winged horses, fish . . . It is overwhelming. No wonder it is attributed with the "power" to draw you back.

The fountains all over fascinated me. Bell and I had a little "fountain alert" whenever we passed one and we tried to photograph as many as we could. The profusion of water was impressive, especially coming from Africa where it is often in short supply for part of the year. Another instance of Roman engineering and ingenuity.

The Romans delight in their water displays. Many are lit at night which adds more atmosphere. Water is obviously appreciated everywhere--and valued. We were told with pride that we needn't buy bottled water, their water was good enough to drink. Many times we filled our bottles with city water. But water that quenched thirst for good--no, they didn't have any of that. Everywhere we drank, we got thirsty again.

And if the Romans are anything, they are thirsty.

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